hello, I am interested in loading a subsonic hunting load for deer with my contender with a 10" barrel in either .44 Mag or .45 colt (I havent bought a barrel yet). The range would be limited and the deer fairly small. I am hoping to find a bullet to cast that will stabilize in the 1 in 22" twist from 900fps to maximum loads. I have the idea that heavier is better (300 gr. or more) but Im not sure how these would stabilize at subsonic speeds. Does anyone have any advice on loads and bullets? thanks
While I haven't shot 300's at 900 fps from a 1-22" contender, I have shot my 400's down to 600 fps from my 1-18? 480, and they are very accurate.
I'm wondering why you are concerned about being subsonic? The contender will still be quite loud.
My personal choice in a mold would be Lee's 310 gr rf in 44, or their 300 gr rf in 45. Both bullets have large meplats, and are very accurate. You can also order the mold from lee, and have them mill off the mold face to make them a plainbase mold for a moderate fee. The bullets will drop ~280 grs. Using 9-10 gr unique will get you 900 fps and mild recoil. The terminal performance should be outstanding.
I know that folks think lee molds are crap because they are so cheap, but I have been able to make good bullets from all the lee molds I've used. I used to have a Lee .44 310 gr rf, and it was a very accurate bullet out of my 44, as well as several friends. I also have a Lee 45 300 rf that was modified by lee as a plainbase, and while I've never shot it myself, several folks have used them from their 45's with good results. If you want some samples of this bullet, drop me a line through the AR e-mail. I put a block on my hotmail as I've gotten too much junk mail lately.
I suppose I dont know that I do want to hunt with loads 1000 fps & under, I just want that option, while at the same time having a bullet that would penetrate through just about anything. The Barrel will be a 44 mag. Where are you in Alaska Paul H?
I'm in Eagle River, and work in Anchorage.
From John Linebaughs reports, a 250 gr cast bullet @ 1000 fps is all you need for dear. You can easily do that with the contender in 44 or 45.
As an asside, my favorite load in my 480 revolver is a 310 gr cast over 9.7 gr unique for 950 fps. I don't know how accurate the load is, but I have been able to shoot 5 shot 50 yd groups of 1" and less, and shot a 3 shot 100 yd group of 1 1/2". I would expect the contender to be at least accurate. That said I'd strongly consider a custom barrel to get the accuracy potential.
The 10" 44 mag will push a 310 gr cast to 1400-1500 fps with top loads. Unfortunately I sold all my 44 molds, but will recomend both Lee's 240 gr SWC gc and the 310 gr rf gc as good accurate molds.
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